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Bassetlaw District Council: Installing an access anywhere Cemetery Administration System

Background

Bassetlaw District Council Cemeteries (BDCC) has been manually maintaining its cemetery records since the 1800s. This time intensive process involves completing entries within burial, grave and index registers and also completing various forms for each and every new burial or cremation that takes place within the Councils cemeteries.

The work involved in carrying out and recording Memorial Headstone Safety checks is an additional and time consuming responsibility for BDCC. Furthermore, with genealogy becoming an increasingly popular hobby, it has become increasingly difficult to respond to a growing volume of public enquiries in a timely manner.

BDCC decided that they needed a new electronic cemetery administration system that allowed them to maintain their cemetery and memorial headstone records more efficiently. With a defined budget and set of requirements to fulfil, BDCC reviewed the various systems available on the market.

Staff at BDCC had previously met TownsWeb Archiving’s (TWA) Managing Director, Paul Sugden, and had seen some of the work that TWA had undertaken for other local authorities. They were interested to see how TWA’s Chronicle Pro system might be able to help them.

Proposal

BDCC staff and TWA’s Development team created a plan for the project:

  1. BDCC would provide TWA with copies of all of their internal forms and documentation
  2. They would then provide an initial list of Cemeteries, associated Section References and Grave Numbers (where available)
  3. TWA would import all of the records that BDCC were initially able to provide into the Chronicle Pro system
  4. TWA would adapt Chronicle Pro to include all of the additional fields that BDCC needed to record#
  5. TWA would replicate forms and reports currently in use by BDCC in PDF format and place them within Chronicle Pro
  6. TWA would adapt a Memorial Inspections Module to make it fit with BDCC headstone safety working practices and schedules
  7. The Chronicle Pro system would be provided as a hosted solution – accessible to council staff from anywhere via the internet
  8. TWA would provide a handheld tablet computer for Council employees or contractors to use to remotely access Chronicle and record live Memorial Headstone Safety results in the field
  9. Staff training on using Chronicle Pro most effectively would be provided by TWA staff

Implementation of Chronicle Pro

Chronicle Pro was set up and sent live for BDCC in April 2011 and is still used by the Council staff everyday. Any new records are being entered directly into the system, as well as historic records gradually being transferred over too.

Chronicle Pro includes features that allow records to be linked to scanned images of register pages and maps, in addition to allowing deceased records to be displayed online via the Council’s website.

Client Testimonial from Bassetlaw Council

“We were looking for a cemeteries administration system at BDCC which fitted with our criteria and could be accessed from any location with an internet connection as well as provide us with additional modules such as interment notices. 

After several domenstrations we decided to go with the Chronicle Pro system from TownsWeb Archiving.

Since we went live with Chronicle we have been extremely happy with the system and the support and professional service from the staff at TWA. Our staff here at Bassetlaw District Council Cemeteries are delighted with the user friendly system.”

Further Information

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